Because the Microsoft Windows operating system is used all over the world, it comes as no surprise that there are several different languages available for it. Something Microsoft decided to introduce back in Windows 2000 was a method of allowing the user to install multiple languages for the interface onto a single operating system. This means that on a single system you can have multiple accounts, each having their own preferred display language for the user interface.
The Multilingual User Interface (MUI) is available for Windows, Microsoft Office and several other applications that provide multilingual support on one system. The advantage of using an MUI package is the core Windows files remain the same and the local language of the installed operating system is unchanged, only things like menus, dialogs and the application API gets changed to the new language. From Windows Vista onward, the MUI was enhanced further and languages no longer need to be integrated into application files and instead MUI applies the language to the chosen application in a way more like a themed skin.
In recent years it’s not uncommon for the price of computers to fluctuate from country to country, and buying a new machine while on vacation or a business trip is very tempting if it means saving some money. The problem with this is the computer will likely be installed with that countries native language and you will want it working in your own language. This is where the MUI language packs come in, but there’s a problem; only Windows 7 and Vista Ultimate and Enterprise versions accept and install the MUI language packs, there is no support for Home Basic, Home Premium and Business/Professional.
There are a couple of ways to install languages in Windows Ultimate and Enterprise. Go to Control Panel -> Regional and Language Options -> Keyboards and Languages tab -> Install/uninstall languages which will ask if you want to install a downloaded language pack or go to Windows Update to get one. Or you can simply double click on a downloaded pack to install it.
As for non supported Windows Vista version users, even if you download and run the chosen MUI language pack, you will get an error saying “The total number of languages allowed this computer has been reached.” when you try to install it. The next button to proceed will be grayed out and preventing you to continue. When Windows 7 users try to run a pack on an unsupported system, nothing will happen and the pack installer will just close quietly.
Thankfully, if you’re not an Ultimate or Enterprise Windows user, you don’t need to worry about formatting the drive, re-installing windows or looking for the Windows installation disc and genuine product key, because there is a way to get around this problem. Simply use a program called Vistalizator.
The sole purpose of Vistalizator is to let you install an additional MUI language pack onto your version of Windows Vista or 7 if it doesn’t officially support it and override the one pack limit. As you can tell from the name, the program was developed for Vista but is now fully updated and compatible with Windows 7 Service Pack 1, including 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
Here is how easily you can change your Windows 7 or Vista language using Vistalizator.
1. You need to download the language pack that you want to install. Although there are separate versions for different Windows service packs, the latest MUI pack is backwards compatible. They’re also downloadable via the Vistalizator help page, but for quickness, here’s the links to the pages on the Vistalizator website.
2. Download the Vistalizator program and run its portable executable.
3. Click the Add Language button and browse for the language file that you’ve downloaded earlier and it will automatically extract and verify the file. Multiselect is supported for more than one language.
4. Once Vistalizator has finished processing the file, click the Install language button. There is an option to perform an Express install which is faster but less compatible than the recommended Internal method. Installation will take a few minutes.
5. The program will then ask if you want to switch to the new language after the install is complete. If you choose not to, simply click on the newly installed Language in the window and press Change language at a later time. Restarting your computer is required after every change. Do note that if ever you want to change the language in future, it has to be done through this program, not Control Panel.